The woman raped by Roman Polanski in 1977 when she was 13 years old today stepped into the self-exiled Oscar-winning director’s latest attempt to return to the U.S. and not face more jail time.
Samantha Gailey wants “the Gunson transcript made available to Mr. Polanski and be made public,” Deputy Los Angeles District Attorney Michele Hanisee in this morning at a LA Superior Court hearing. While not identifying Gailey by name, DA Jackie Lacey’s deputy told Judge Scott Gordon’s courtroom that her office had recently received correspondence from the “victim” in the long-litigated matter. The correspondence from Gailey came via an email from her lawyer, Deadline was informed.
“If you will not do the right, moral and legally required thing and stop covering up and withholding facts I can only hope when the truth comes out as it always does, that you both are still around to have your reputations suffer as they should,” the correspondence to Lacey and Hanisee added. “You and those who have come before you have never protected me, you have treated me with contempt using a crime committed against me to further your own careers.”
Hanisee, who is facing a compliant at the state bar about accusations she made last week concerning a former LA Superior Court public information director, made a point of emphasizing to the court that neither she nor Lacey’s office have either a transcript of former Deputy LA DA Roger Gunson’s words from 2010 nor a video of the session that he participated in under oath.
Polanski and his team believe the Gunson testimony contains information of a supposed deal that was made nearly 40 years ago that would have seen the director serving no more than 90 days behind bars after Polanski pleaded guilty on five charges stemming from having sex with Gailey on March 10, 1977
The sudden introduction of Gailey into the increasingly convoluted proceedings today came as Gordon agreed with the request of the Chinatown director’s lawyer to push back an in-depth hearing on unsealing Gunson’s transcript. Polanski lawyer Harland Braun told the court in filings last week he wanted more time due to new information and portions of testimony he recently received from European officials. A new hearing on the motion to unseal has now been set for June 9.
Today’s inclusion of Gailey into this latest chapter in the saga was surprising in its appearance, but not in its content. Over the past several years, Gailey has said she believes the director’s exile from the U.S. and the heart of the movie business has been punishment enough. Gailey and Polanski came to a financial settlement of around $500,000 in the mid-1990s. In 2013 , she wrote a memoir entitled The Girl: A Life In The Shadow Of Roman Polanski. The book asserted that Gailey believed she had victimized twice — first by the Rosemary’s Baby director and secondly by the media and its ravenous reporting decade after decade.
“At the end of the day, this is a sexual assault case,” Judge Gordon made his own point of reminding the lawyers and onlookers today.
It is also a case that of late has not been going Polanski’s way, with Gordon’s April 3 rejection of the director’s desire to have the Los Angeles DA’s office’s declare whether or not they would seek additional jail time for Polanksi if he were to return. If they couldn’t get that, Braun wanted to see his client sentenced in absentia. Gordon rejected that as well.
That 2010 videotaped Gunson testimony was made at Polanski’s request while the director was fighting an extradition request by then politically ambitious LA DA Steve Cooley and the Department of Justice. It was upon being informed in 1978 that the presiding judge in the matter had reneged on the supposed deal and was looking to put Polanski in jail for up to 50 years that the director jumped on a flight to France.
At Tuesday’s short but sometimes spikey session in Gordon’s courtroom, Hanisee expressed concern that Braun could distribute the European material that is apparently derived from Gunson’s 2010 testimony. Seemingly seeking to move things along today, Gordon essentially said he would deal with that if the matter arose.